A systematic review of reflective writing in the pharmacy curriculum: Impact on patient-centred communication skills or cultural competence


  • Jia Min Teo National University of Singapore, Singapore https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0167-7182
  • Leroy Koh National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Yap Kai Zhen National University of Singapore, Singapore




Cultural competence, Curriculum, Patient-centred communication skill, Pharmacy student, Reflective writing


Background: This review aims to identify and evaluate the impact of reflective writing in pharmacy curriculum on student’s patient-centred communication (PCC) skills or cultural competence.

Methods: Electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Scopus, ERIC, CINAHL and PsychInfo were systematically searched without restricting study designs.

Results: Six articles were included in this review. For PCC skills, reflective writing improves pharmacy students’ motivational interviewing and shared decision-making skills, in managing patients’ treatment plans. However, reflective writing only improves pharmacy students’ ability to build rapport but not to recognise and respond to their patients’ emotions, in reassuring their patients. Lastly, conflicting results are seen for its effects on cultural competence, due to differences in the measurement instruments and cultural academic assignments complementary to reflective writing.

Conclusion: Reflective writing positively impacted pharmacy students’ PCC skills in managing treatment plans but had limited impact on reassurance. Furthermore, the impact of reflective writing on pharmacy students’ cultural competence is inconclusive.

Author Biographies

Jia Min Teo, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Department of Pharmacy

Leroy Koh, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Department of Pharmacy

Yap Kai Zhen, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Department of Pharmacy


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How to Cite

Teo, J. M., Koh, L., & Zhen, Y. K. (2022). A systematic review of reflective writing in the pharmacy curriculum: Impact on patient-centred communication skills or cultural competence. Pharmacy Education, 22(1), p. 287–300. https://doi.org/10.46542/pe.2022.221.287300